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Chuntybunt

Automatic Transmission Fluid Lubrication

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Highly interesting. I still have an unused bottle of Castrol Dexron TQ-D III left over after I sold my old BMW last year.....

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Horsetan I think your reference to Cars and Hitler/Stalin is entrely inappropriate on this forum.

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I have used ATF as lubricating oil on Salextric cars, door hinges, Triang locos etc without problems.  Largely because I had some left over from changing a PAS pump on my Rover   ATF is thicker than 3 in 1 and stays in place better but I have never really tried it on plastic.bearigs like the Triang 31 and Hymek armature bearings or seen its effects on plastic brush holders.

 

Obviously it must not be used in split chassis locos as it is not non insulating so will cause pickup problems which loosen the wheels, 

 

I put it in a small bottle originally containing valve oil for a trumpet, and sometimes use a syringe  (without a needle) which lives in an old Steredent tube in my tool box so i can get at Triang X04 bearings without removing the body.

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Hi David. If it is ok on Scalextric cars then I would have thought it would be safe on most other plastics used in model construction, from my understanding modern auto transmition systems contain many plastic parts and it has to be safe for use in those systems.

 

As for its insulating properties I hadn't realy thought about that. It seams strange that it would be conductive although I know some US modelers us it for track cleaning, but I can't see this working for long without attracting all sorts of crud. I have no experience of split chassis so can't comment on that, out of interest how will pickup problems loosen the wheels?

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Bear in mind that "normal" ATF will damage some Rover gearboxes. A custom ATF has to be used in 800 and 75 models because of this, so be careful.

 

Stewart

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Horsetan I think your reference to Cars and Hitler/Stalin is entrely inappropriate on this forum.

 

You're the only person who has a problem with it. Maybe you should direct your complaint to "30801" who originated the statement.

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... Experience based observations appreciated.

 

This is one of those 'at your own risk' choices. Also significant is what your service life and success criteria might be. If the duty for the item is going to result in mechanical wear out in five years, and minor deteriorations  don't matter to you then it might be an excellent choice; if though you expect the item to last indefinitely in perfect condition, it may not be.

 

I have seen a model which was very successfully lubricated for outdoor use with an automotive grease. The owner got about eight years of excellent performance out of it, no trouble with axle bearings going dry, which had been a non stop issue with the supplies of plastic compatible lubricants for models then available. And then one day, wheels started falling off. The insulating plastic in the wheelsets had all the strength of well chewed chewing gum, as did a lot of other plastic components in the chassis, such that complete replacement of an expensive chassis was the most economic repair method. The owner, while not welcoming this, nevertheless felt he had got fair use out of the model's mechanism, for the particular purpose it served.

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, out of interest how will pickup problems loosen the wheels?

 

The pick up on the split chassis beloved of Mainline and Bachmann relies on the axle journals making contact with the chassis.  If you lubricate with an oil which is not non insulating the contact will be poor and the resistance will heat the wheels which in turn heat the plastic axles and loosen the wheels on the axle which in the case of the older chassis this will cause the wheels to slip on the axle and lose the quartering which results in bent coupling rods etc.  On an old fashioned solid chassis there are twice as much axle in contact with the chassis for the chassis return so the problem is less acute and the plastic bush if heated at all is heated by the axle.  The cure is ether non insulating oil, electrolube etc, or simply fitting copper strip pickups to the sides of the split chassis to bear on the backs of the wheels, even one wheel per side will likely be enough as the couplling rods also carry power between wheels on the same side.  I did a mainline class 03 chassis years ago as a temporary measure when a Bachmann chassis failed and it is still going strong and I only fitted pickups to the cab end driving axle.

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